More on China’s Religious Restrictions

CNSNews.com has some more information regarding the restrictions that China places on religious freedom.

When it comes to Christianity, Beijing permits only one Protestant organization, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). Set up in 1950, the group’s name stresses the aim of resisting outside influences, with the goals of “self-governance, self-support and self-propagation.” An affiliated body established in 1980 is known as the China Christian Council (CCC).

There are only five state-sanctioned Protestant churches in Beijing, a city whose population last summer passed the 17 million mark.

China allows one “patriotic” Catholic organization, also formed in the 1950s to supervise Chinese Catholics.

Religious regulations implemented in 2005 underlined the requirement that all religious groups be affiliated with the state-sanctioned organizations. According to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent statutory body, the government requires this as a way “to manage religious activity and maintain control of independent religious institutions and practice.”
But religious freedom advocacy groups say the actual number of Christians in China — the world’s fastest-growing body of believers — is anywhere from 60 to more than 100 million. The vast majority are Protestants belonging to the illicit “house church” movement, and Catholics loyal to the Vatican rather than Beijing’s “patriotic” body.

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